The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Chicken pasture perimeter

using a tree as a fence post for a chicken pasture
Our chicken pasture/moat perimeter is coming close to completion.

Sometimes I like to recruit a tree to function as a fence post, like this small walnut.

It saves time and money, but it also looks more natural, which in my opinion increases the already high level of beauty around here.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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while natural fence posts are great and longer lived, aren't you worried about killing the tree by wrapping wire around it?
Comment by rebecca Mon May 7 16:20:10 2012
Do you have a way that you attach fencing to the trees that avoids the tree absorbing the wire or nails or the fence as it grows? It might be something to keep in mind if you, or a future person, should ever want to use one of these trees for lumber, or even if it just needs cutting down someday.
Comment by Sam Mon May 7 19:32:36 2012
We have used a screw eye bolt in the tree and it works well. Every year you can back out the eye bolt just a little so it doesn't grown into the tree. It won't hurt the tree and the wire could be attached to that bolt. They are cheap also.
Comment by Cindy Mon May 7 22:56:38 2012

Rebecca --- It's an Appalachian tradition to hook fences to a tree, and it definitely doesn't kill the tree. The tree just keeps on growing through and around the wire. As Sam mentioned, it does make it hard to use the tree for lumber in the future, but that's the only ill effect I've seen.

Sam --- These are all little "weed" trees --- I doubt they'll ever be lumber or even firewood. If they needed to be cut down for some reason, I guess we'd just cut down below the wire.

Cindy --- Good idea. I'm not sure I'd be kind enough to go through and back out the screw every year, though... :-)

Comment by anna Tue May 8 07:21:04 2012
I don't think even the environmental activists around here would be all that concerned about killing a few locust trees. It would be like trying to save the dandelions. They don't need our help.
Comment by Everett Tue May 8 09:29:28 2012
Everett --- This little tree is actually a walnut, but as you can see from the weird trunk, it wouldn't be worth much even if walnuts weren't a dime a dozen in our floodplain. I'm an official tree hugger, and I have no problem wrapping it in wire. :-)
Comment by anna Tue May 8 15:58:49 2012

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